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It's summer vacation, 1896, and Miles and his brother must spend it with rich, irritable Uncle Eustace, who wants to purchase art for his mansion. Little do the boys know that their summer will take them on a high-flying chase across Italy and Germany, searching for an answer to the mysterious disappearance of their uncle's servant and six woodcuts by the famous Renaissance artist Albrecht Durer. Unwittingly they become entangled in an international ring of conspirators, and must save the world from a dark force masquerading as a benign secret society.
It is said that the Sahara Desert swallows the past. For Matthew Morrissey and his mentor, the eminent phrenologist Dr. Asa B. Cornwall, there's also the danger of its swallowing their present.
When young Tom Ormsby cons his way onto the great explorer Henry Morton Stanley's "Relief of Emin Pasha Expedition" in 1887, he's looking for adventure. But he has no idea what lies ahead of him. From the exotic bazaars of Zanzibar to the mouth of the Congo River and beyond, Tom soon learns he's signed on for more than the rescue of the mysterious Pasha. He's on a journey through the ravishing beauty and brutality of a jungle world peopled by slavers, warring tribes, cannibals, and colonial masters - all jockeying for survival in 19th-century Africa. As Karr follows Tom's remarkable three-year trek, she raised some provocative questions about slavery, the right of one country to impose its cultural imperatives on another, and the arrogance that can prevent a man from achieving his ultimate goal. Startling, scary, and surprising, this true story takes the reader deep into the heart of the African past.
Having learned how to box while in prison, fifteen-year-old Johnny sets out to discover if he can make a decent living as a fighter in late nineteenth-century New York City.
As drought and the Depression threaten to destroy her family's South Dakota farm, twelve-year-old Christine discovers a wondrous cave, which becomes both her own private delight and a possible salvation for the family.
"A well-mapped medieval road trip. "--The Bulletin Orphaned and left to make his own way in the world, Conrad the Good serves as court jester to a most unworthy master: Lord Otto "the Witless," who rarely appreciates jesting and acrobatics and more often rewards his good fool with a good whipping. So one night, Conrad flees, leaving Otto's realm in search of a more enlightened master--taking with him only his noble horse, Blackspur, and his beloved, the servant girl Christa the Fair. As they take to the road, they soon learn that along with their quest comes hardship. But with Christa disguised as a boy, they are able to make their way as traveling entertainers, and for all the difficulties they encounter, there are as many unexpected joys and friends in unexpected places, and there is their love for one another. And always, their destination lies before them: somewhere, a sanctuary where they'll have the freedom to be together and be themselves.
In prison, there are few secrets. But Libby Dodge, the youngest inmate, guards the nature of her crime from the other women, even as they openly recount their former lives as arsonists, thieves, and prostitutes.
When a disaster claims the men of their wagon train, spunky 12-year-old Phoebe and other women rely on their own resources to complete the journey to Oregon in 1846.
In 1860, a somewhat simple-minded fifteen-year-old boy attempts to herd one thousand turkeys from Missouri to Denver, Colorado, in hopes of selling them at a profit.
Starring in an anti-German World War I propaganda serial in the days before the "talkies," fifteen-year-old twins Fitzhugh and Nelly Dalton find their screen adventures paling in comparison to a real-life mystery.
Kate, who lives in a lighthouse and often dreams that she is a mermaid, has a chance to rescue two real mermaids one stormy night.
During the 1920s, life for Istvan, the eldest child of a Hungarian-American family, holds both joy and sadness.
Dear Gentle Reader, Daddy started us off early in a life of crime. It must have had something to do with his frustration in siring six daughters. We came mostly with the spring, one after the other, barely a year 'twixt each of us. March, April, May, June, July; and then there was me, Lily. I came in April, too, but they'd already used up that month. I guess I've always been the maverick of the family. So it's only natural I should be telling this story of the infamous Harper Girls. It's all Gospel truth, right on up to the part about jail, our brief stage career, and everything. I tell it now in the belief that it may be an object lesson for one and all. Also, I need the money, so I hope you buy a copy of my little book. Sincerely, Lily Harper Hogan
Phoebe is bound for Oregon with her family on a wagon train 1n 1846 and all the women must learn to shoot to survive the journey.
Greer spends the summer of 1924 at a Long Island seashore mansion, where she helps her psychic mother and a sinister magician conduct séances, and unexpectedly finds new direction for her life.
"Interested in medicine? Dr. ABC seeks bright lad. Training and board. Apply number 113, Broadway." Twelve-year-old Matthew Morrissey can't believe his luck when he spots this ad in the paper. He is interested in medicine--he wants to find a cure for the cholera that wiped out his whole family and left him orphaned. Alone on the streets of 1840s New York, Matthew leaps at the opportunity to help this Dr. ABC, whomever he is. As it turns out, he is the plump, puffy, rumpled Asa B. Cornwall, a kindly-if-obsessed phrenologist who hopes to someday perfect mankind through his study of the contours of human skulls, particularly those of flawed characters. "Give me a skull, and I can conjure up the very soul of a man!" he cries passionately. Matthew is eager to please this eccentric man, if only for a warm bed and all the oatmeal he can eat. In time, however, his apprenticeship intensifies when he learns he must help his master rob graves for real specimens. And can the doctor really mean that he wants Voltaire's skull from Paris? Things heat up even more when they discover they have a mysterious enemy with a brow "broad and low," clearly the skull of a criminal. Kathleen Karr's delightful, well-crafted adventure is witty, suspenseful, and deliciously Dickensian; most of all, it has a great deal of heart.Watching the older man and his young charge plow forward through near misses and comedies of errors is pure fun. And we, like the dynamic duo, come to learn that their companionship is far more valuable than a chest of gold, an acre of skulls, or Dr. ABC's relentless pursuit of perfection. (Ages 10 to 14) --Karin Snelson
A fascinating story about a little-known episode of the Civil War, this chapter book explores the story of Thaddeus Lowe and his plan to launch the Balloon Corps for President Lincoln. Illustrated. with games and activities.
In 1670, soon after arriving in the Carolinas with a group of colonists from England, fifteen-year-old Christopher West befriends a young Sewee Indian, Asha-po, and learns some hard lessons about survival, slavery, and friendship.